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A number of Bundesliga clubs and Middle East teams have joined chase for Joleon Lescott, according to Sky sources.

Lescott found himself as fourth choice behind Vincent Kompany, Martin Demichelis and Matija Nastasic at Manchester City last season, meaning his game time was limited, featuring just 10 times in the Premier League. A January loan move was rumoured but never occurred, putting an end to any chance of the defender making England's World Cup squad, and both the club and the player allowed his contract to run down, meaning he is now a free agent. At 31 years old Lescott still had a lot to offer and could be a fine free transfer for a non-top four team. Aston Villa, West Ham, and former club Everton have all been linked, as well as Turkish side Besiktas, German outfit Schalke and Al Ain in the UAE.
Source: Sky Sports
Thu, Jun 5, 2014 06:38:00 AM

TalkSPORT have offered their eight recommendations for bargain Fantasy League players that will make a difference this season…

Based on the version of the game, TalkSPORT has offered a list of eight bargain priced players that they predict will have a big impact this season. Please note: this list does not represent the views of the author (although I do like number one and number six). Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel (£4.5m) is first up, with defenders Joel Ward (Palace) and Per Mertesacker (Arsenal) also considered snips at £4.5m and £5.5m. A midfield three of Jonjo Shelvey (Swansea), Mark Noble (West Ham) – both at £5.5m - and Southampton’s Victor Wanyama (at £4.5m) make the list. With the pick of the cut-price forwards thought to be West Brom’s Saido Berahino (£6.5m) and Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson (at just £5.5m). Over to you…
Source: Talksport
Aug 1 - 10:33 AM

Norwich City used goals from Wes Hoolahan and Cameron Jerome to defeat Championship side Brentford, 2-1, but the bigger story is that Youssouf Mulumbu made an early exit with an injury.

No details on the severity or even the exact location of the injury for Mulumbu, but it appeared to be an ankle issue. It happened with just ten minutes remaining in the contest. It would be a major blow to the Canaries should one of their key summer signings need to miss any time. Robbie Brady made his first start for his new club and the XI looked pretty close to what we should expect to see next weekend. The biggest question mark is at striker, where Lewis Grabban started today and through most of a productive preseason while Cameron Jerome, thought to be the preferred option has been working his way in gradually from an injury layoff. Perhaps Grabban has earned a Week 1 start, but with Jerome scoring in a substitute role today, expect the latter to reclaim the job relatively soon.
Aug 1 - 12:19 PM

AFC Bournemouth wrapped up their preseason schedule with a 0-0 draw against Bundesliga side Hoffenheim.

A couple of projected starters played in yesterday's friendly against Cardiff while the rest started today. Tyrone Mings was given another shift to prepare him for the starting gig at left back. Dan Gosling, Matt Ritchie, Callum Wilson and Shaun MacDonald all had shots on target but were denied by the Hoffenheim keeper. It was an encouraging effort from the defense though. If the Cherries can keep some clean sheets in the top flight, Mings and Simon Francis stand to carry very good value for the coming season.
Aug 1 - 12:35 PM

Yann Kermorgant will be assessed after the Frenchman took a heavy kick to the foot and limped off during the first half of Friday nights’ home defeat to Cardiff City.

With only 8-days until the PL kick-off Cherries’ boss Eddie Howe will be hoping his withdrawal was more of a precaution. Kermorgant contributed 15-goals and 10-assists during last seasons’ Championship campaign [his best return in professional football] and his experience will be essential both on and off the pitch. Kermorgant becomes the second Bournemouth attacker to pick up a problem within the last 4-days after Christian Atsu pulled up with a back injury midweek although reports suggest that the Chelsea loanee could feature against Hoffenheim today. Should either prove to more serious than initially thought then expect Callum Wilson to assume his a position at the head of a 4-2-3-1 with support coming from Ritchie and Pugh otherwise Howe may opt for a variation on 4-4-2 which served the team so well - when required - last season.

Sunderland’s Sebastien Coates says it was an ‘easy’ decision to leave Liverpool and is looking forward to being the club’s number one center-back, despite strong competition…

Sebastien Coates was the first signing of the Dick Advocaat era, following the manager’s successful rescue mission last season. The Uruguayan says his decision to make his loan move permanent was an ‘easy’ one, after breaking into the team in the final month of the season and making the position his own. ‘The last month changed everything. Playing in the last six games was great’, he told local newspaper the Sunderland Echo. Based on pre-season Coates looks to be the number centre-back choice with John O’Shea, Younes Kaboul and Wes Brown (in that order) battling for the slot alongside him. Despite a poor season last time, Sunderland registered 13 clean sheets – only five teams had more – so Coates might appeal as a FL wildcard, at the right price.
Aug 1 - 9:57 AM

Norwich manager Alex Neil leaves a string of big-hitters on the bench for the final friendly before the business gets under way for real…

Several expected first choice starters were left out for the final friendly v Brentford. The Championship side who only narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League themselves, will provide solid opposition in the final tune up for the real business gets underway. But new loan signing from Liverpool Andre Wisdom was left on the bench with last season’s star performers Cameron Jerome, Alex Tettey and Nathan Redmond. Strikers Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper were left out completely. New signing Robbie Brady starts at left-back in a 4-4-1-1 formation with Wes Hoolahan in the ‘number 10’ role behind lone striker Lewis Grabban.
Aug 1 - 10:13 AM

Manchester City travel to Stuttgart for their final pre-season game on Saturday but the Citizens will be taking no risks as Yaya Toure, Fabian Delph and Gael Clichy remain at the Etihad Complex recovering from injury.

Toure was involved in a collision with Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas during a friendly game seven days ago and the Ivorian has been rested as a precaution. Initial concerns were that Toure was suffering from concussion after "feeling groggy" but subsequent tests were clear and although the 32 year-old will miss the trip to Germany he is expected to fully recover for GW1. Delph has been ruled out after suffering a hamstring tear just 20-minutes into his debut while Clichy has picked up a knock. However there was better news as Wilfried Bony was included having missed the tour of Australia due to a ‘mystery illness’ but there was no place for Aguero, Demichelis, Fernandinho or Zabaleta having been given additional time-off due to their involvement in the Copa America.
Jul 31 - 6:05 PM

20-year-old Arsenal center back/holding midfielder Isaac Hayden has gone out on loan to Hull City for the 2015-16 season.

Arsenal have been active today signing Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla to contract extensions and loaning Jon Toral to Birmingham City and Hayden to Hull City. The 20-year-old has represented England at each age level and now looks to pick up his first taste of first team football that means something in the Championship with newly relegated Hull City. If he can secure a place in Steve Bruce's line-up the it will be an invaluable experience as the player looks to secure a spot in the senior Arsenal squad over the next few years.
Jul 31 - 4:48 PM

AFC Bournemouth returned from their summer travels to play a friendly in front of the home crows, but would lose to Championship side Cardiff City, 2-3.

To be fair, only a couple of starters in today's match look to be the among the starters for Week 1, namely Simon Francis, Sylvain Distin and Marc Pugh. The rest of the squad turn around and play their final friendly tomorrow in Germany, which will likely feature the other starters. Christian Atsu is still a question mark today but it would be a good sign that his back is not an issue if he can at least make the bench tomorrow against Hoffenheim.
Jul 31 - 4:58 PM

Watford wrapped up their preseason schedule with a 0-1 loss to Sevilla.

It was a real test for the Hornets today, as they took on the reigning Europa League champions with a strongly-named side. They traded blows with the Spanish club until the visitors finally broke through for the lone goal of the match in the 70th minute. Miguel Layun got the start for Watford, and had a big chance in each half, but he nor the rest of the team could beat the Sevilla keeper. Interestingly, Odion Ighalo earned another start while Matej Vydra began on the bench, further indicating the former may be preferred for starts to begin the season.
Source: WD Sport
Jul 31 - 5:12 PM

Nathan Baker has signed a new deal with Aston Villa that will see him at the club for four more years.

Baker has been a part of the Aston Villa academy since he was eight years old and came through their ranks to become a part of the first team. Baker seems to be bound for a reserve role if Micah Richards and Ciaran Clark remain healthy, but he can slot in across the entire back-line as a backup and figures to remain a part of the Aston Villa rotation for the foreseeable future.
Source: AVFC
Jul 31 - 4:29 PM

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